Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Congrats to my great friends, Ryan and Kim Tucker on their wedding day! I wish you everlasting love, happiness and enjoyment of each other.

Vet Pref update bill H568 was held in committee today. We are re-writing it to reflect required changes and will get it back in the queue..

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Had a good lunch meeting with Sup. Luna, Jason and Luci regarding the K-12 Education budgets. We need to ensure clarity in what we are proposing for the various budgets surrounding Education. Specifically ensuring the teacher pay for performance and salary equalization is comparable to the rest of the State 2% CEC, or have some explanation as to why it should be different. We are lucky to have such great folks working for K-12!

Passed H563, Income tax reduction bill out of committee to the House floor with a "do pass" recommendation, Idaho is "open" for business!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The House passed a bill removing the cap limit of 6 on how many Charter Schools can be created per year in Idaho, now on to the Senate!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

An excellent story on our efforts to recognize an Idaho hero:

Friday, February 24, 2012

What a whirl-wind week. I've had so many meetings on so many topics that I've not been able to report on here... from meetings with BSU President Bob Kustra to Col. Russel (ISP) and Gen. Saylor (ID Military Div.) on many budget and process issues. Recommended ISP use more Motors (motorcycles) in their fleet mix to save fuel and cost of long term ownership... worked the Div. of Vet services budget request with Rep. George Eskridge to try to get the most bang for our buck as well. Finished the day with an interview for Idaho Public TV on our concerns of state employee compensation process ($17m of what the Legislature supplied for employee compensation was turned back in last year due to process problems) that will air at 8:00 PM MST this evening and then a final stop by KTVB Channel 7 for a quick interview of our HJM7 Medal of Honor memorial for Sgt (ret) Chris Tschida that will air at 10 PM MST this evening.... Leaving the house near 6 am and coming him after 10 pm this week seemed to be the norm, I'm ready for some time with my sweetie...

On Monday I will be filing to run for the Senate Seat in the new District 14.

I have learned a great deal about Idaho's governance and how it’s intended to serve the citizen's needs. I’ve also learned of the great deal of wrangling required to work with all the folks in the Legislative and Executive branches in affecting governance to meet those needs. This was a job never on my"bucket list” but I’ve grown because of it over the last 6 years and thank the citizens of Meridian for the opportunity to serve them.

I've appreciated being the voice in the House for the citizens of District 20 and now would like the opportunity to focus the skills and experience I've garnered as a voice for the citizens of Eagle, Star and Meridian in the Senate. Having served in the Business, Transportation and Defense, Natural Resources and Conservation and Joint Finance and Appropriations committees, as well as, multiple Taskforces through the summer periods for the last 6 years I believe I've got a strong foundation to help continue to make Idaho a greater place to live, work and play.

I hope I can count on your continued support.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ran into some unintended consequenses on the Vet Pref bill (H586), so will be taking it to the amending order for some minor changes and have organized a taskforce over the summer to align what needs to be fixed with all the stakeholders.

Here's the link to the radio interview I did early morning yesterday about various legislative issues and our Medal of Honor memorial:

We were pretty busy around the Capital yesterday moving a number of bills on the House floor to the Senate, then Transportation & Defense Committee approving some bills to head to the House floor. Finished the evening in meetings and discussions with some County Commissioners and Congressman Labrador working on a pilot program to allow the State management of Forest Service forests...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Early start to the day at 6 am on KIDO radio 580 with Kevin Miller discussing the Medal of Honor HJM7 & other critical bills we are working

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thanks to Mr. Gordon Smith (former CEO of the Simplot Corp) for speaking at this months Wyakin Warrior Seminar Series tonight on his perspective of"What a CEO Looks for in an Employee”. He fielded some great questions with sage wisdom and experience for our attending students.

Completed a number of budgets today in JFAC and identified some issues with our employment system that greatly hinders getting personnel compensation increases to our state workers. Discussion is ongoing on how to fix that. Passed various bills on the House floor, and heard many Fish and Game bills in Committee (all these bills and info are available on the Legislative website:

The Capital is such a quiet place at 6:30 am... it's cool how the whole building just starts to come alive as the day wakes...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ran some supplemental budget requests this morning, now honoring House members that have passed away in the past year in the House..

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Good Board of Directors meeting for the Wyakin Warrior Foundation tonight, we decided to open up applications to Purple Heart recipients too

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Finally able to check on my pond in the daylight today and it seems I've had a Poopsalot visiting, no Shibukin left, only my large Koi!

Friday, February 17, 2012

We finally got our Income Tax reduction bill printed, working on

Just informed the GARVEE bill (S1317) will be held and some minor changes made into a new RS. On a good note, I was able to get the State Vet Preferance's hiring changes bill printed this morning. I will post it's bill number as soon as it's assigned.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm sorry to report that H537 that would have allowed Gold Star lic. plates to the families of all active duty members lost did not pass today out of committee on a 5 -7 vote. Idaho still has a Gold Star plate, but it's only authorized for the families of members killed in a DOD designated combat zone. (Sorry to the families of the USS Cole and others like them)

Time to hit it again! JFAC will be hearing from various committee Chairman today in regards to their concerns of how we should focus revenue

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Going to miss this bunch of Pages, they've been very helpful during this

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Frustrating day trying to keep good bills alive and make sure bad ones never see the light of day. We do have some great State Directors, Jeff Anderson is doing a bang up job with the Lottery and Div of Liquor maximizing ROI that goes back to Education, the building fund and recovery programs.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Passed H443 (POW/MIA Flag protocol) bill out of the House today, on to the Senate...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spent a nice weekend with my folks, good to see meet them at Riggins (a great halfway point for all to meet and relax). Thanks Mom & Dad!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Has been a busy week! Have 5 bills I've authored working through the system and a few more ready to pull the trigger on, co-sponsored many more. Everything from bonding for deficient bridges, POW/MIA flag protocol, speed limit changes, Highway Districts, Veteran Hiring Pref. points to the Medal of Honor memorial... Oh, and I've had 2 committee meetings and floor session everyday as well. Time for the weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reviewed budgets for ISP, The Arts Commission, Millennium Fund, HR and Office of Evaluations today. Trying to wrap our arms around how much to budget where once we get a final number to budget to. Good news is revenue was up $6.3 million in Jan over forecast, that light at the end of the tunnel might not be a train!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

View from 30k': Marriage isn't mentioned in the US Constitution, why government (State or Federal) involved in this religious concern?

Couldn't take it anymore, toothache killing me so had to bust out early to see my dentist... back at it in the morning!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quote from a good friend: Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars...

Honored today to present HJM-7 on the House floor asking the Whitehouse to bestow the MOH to Sgt. Chris Tschida, few dry eyes in the House..

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Got home in time to watch the 4th quarter, was a squeaker... not sure about the other 3, but that was a great quarter to watch, good job NY!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sad to hear of Micron CEO Steve Appleton's death this morning, our thoughts and prayers are with his family

Thursday, February 2, 2012

$40m for 1550 jobs? Why not just eliminate some forest regulations, might cost a bit less...

SB1229 to make speed limits all the same for cars and trucks died today in the Senate Xport committee on a 5-4 vote...

We Americans love our abbreviations. I've worked in many industries and each have their own language, the State is no different: BURP, LUST, SUDS... the learning curve of all these mnemonics is no different either!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Early start reviewing State Department budgets of all sorts, passed a few bills on the House floor then off to Resources to do some rules and print some bills about gas/oil drilling and Fish and Game. Then off to the Mayor's State of the city (Kudo's to Mayor Tammy and city workers) and the Taste of Meridian, finished with a glass of wine discussing business development at Corkscrews... time to do emails!